SpaceX lifts 24 satellites into orbit after 'most hard launch'

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket successfully attempted its most technically demanding mission yet, with a rideshare flight organized by the US Air Force.

The rocket launched in its first night time mission at 2:30 am ET on Tuesday, carrying with it 24 satellites that contain a wealth of cargo belonging to a variety of organizations and companies. There have been no major failures during launch or deployment of the various payloads the vehicles carried into space, and the side boosters have nailed their landings each time the rocket has been shot into the sky.

The launch was expected to provide data to certify the Falcon Heavy and reused boosters for future national security launches. It marked the military's first ride on a recycled rocket.

SpaceX says reusing hardware saves the company big bucks, driving down the price of its rockets.

The center core engine detached about a minute after the boosters, placing it too far away from land to attempt a return to Kennedy Space Center, but instead, it was supposed to land on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You about a few hundred miles off the Florida coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

Prior to launch Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, was calling this one of the most hard missions SpaceX has ever performed.

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SpaceX did manage for the first time to catch the fairing, or nose cone, in a giant net on an offshore boat.

The satellites have been created by a variety of organisations like NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. government's Department of Defence research labs and lots of different universities. Pogue died in 2014. It will take several hours to release them all.

SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying 24 experimental satellites in what Elon Musk's rocket company called one of the most hard launches it has attempted.The craft blasted off to cheers from onlookers at 2:30 am. One of the missions is testing a new green propellant for satellites.

Among the most intriguing of the experiment is the "Deep Space Atomic Clock" built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena-a technology which has the potential to revolutionize how we navigate in space.

The mission, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is due to send into orbit the fifth in the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) series of satellites created to provide jam-proof and highly secure connectivity for the U.S. military.

  • Douglas Reid